Game Overview ::
By mike johnson>>
- We still don’t know for sure who the Jaguars are, but this week will be a great litmus test.
- There are several key factors clearly working in favor of the Chargers.
- The strength of the Chargers offense matches up perfectly with the “path of least resistance” of the Jaguars defense.
- If the Jaguars can score some first half points and keep this game competitive, the tempo could really turn up in the second half.
How Jacksonville Will Try To Win ::
The Jaguars have had a solid start to the season, losing a close road game in Washington in Week 1 and then stomping the injury-ridden Colts in Week 2. However, we still don’t truly know what to make of this new-look Jacksonville team as they have yet to face a top-tier team at full strength. We won’t have to wait much longer, however, as the Jaguars are set for a cross-country road trip to face a Chargers team that is one of the favorites in the AFC and is coming off a 10-day rest following a tough loss to the Chiefs that should have been a huge statement road victory.
Jacksonville is passing the ball on 58% of their plays, which is right around league average and has operated with a percentage point of their “expected pass rate” based on the game situations they have been in. The Jags have operated at a slower than league average pace of play, both in terms of overall pace and situation-neutral pace. However, the Jaguars offense appears to have turned a corner after a miserable 2021 season, as they have scored over 20 points in consecutive games to start the season after doing so only five times in 17 games last year. Christian Kirk, the prized free agent acquisition from the offseason, has emerged as the “alpha” wide receiver for Trevor Lawrence, while fellow newcomers Evan Engram and Zay Jones have quickly established rapport and become trusted options as well. The Jaguars backfield also appears strong and has a nice 1-2 punch in James Robinson and Travis Etienne, with Robinson icing the game away last week with 25 total touches and Etienne appearing to be primarily the third down and hurry-up option with occasional early down work mixed in.
This will be a tough test for Jacksonville against a Chargers defense that has a ferocious pass rush and opportunistic secondary and just held Patrick Mahomes to a pedestrian 235 passing yards in Week 2. The “weakness” of the Chargers defense is their run defense, which currently ranks 30th in yards allowed per carry. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, they currently have PFF’s 30th graded run blocking offensive line and are 22nd in yards per carry in their own right. The Jaguars will likely try to control the game on the ground, but will also look to use screens and short to intermediate area passing to move the chains and keep Justin Herbert off the field. Trevor Lawrence currently ranks 6th in the NFL with a whopping 9.8 yards per pass attempt when using play-action, something the Jaguars will certainly use to try to open up holes in the back end of the defense and to keep the Chargers pass rush at bay.
How los Angeles Will Try To Win ::
mike johnson >>
There are some interesting pieces and exciting players in this game, but also some situations that are keeping me from fully becoming interested in this game.
- Rostering Justin Herbert with fractured rib cartilage on a slate where there are so many other premium QB options is tough for me to pull the trigger on. I certainly think Herbert will have a good game, and he could even have a game in the 25-30 point range and that would not surprise me. However, the risk here of re-injury and/or the Chargers simply going out of their way to protect him with more conservative play calling or taking their foot off the gas sooner than usual if they get a lead makes it not worth it to me to roster Herbert over some of the similarly priced premium QB’s.
- Keenan Allen’s status will affect how I approach the receiving corps. If he is active, I won’t be going here outside of a couple of game stacks I may build.
- For his price, Mike Williams simply doesn’t command the target share needed when Allen is active unless the Chargers are in a shootout. Williams also tends to have his really big games align with the ceiling games for Herbert, so based on my approach to Herbert I will have limited, if any, exposure to Williams.
- Josh Palmer played every snap with Keenan Allen out in Week 2. He’s a great way to access this offense if Allen were to sit again, but is an overpriced WR3 if Allen plays.
- If Keenan Allen is out, I will have a lot of interest in both Mike Williams and Josh Palmer. As of Friday morning, Allen seems on track to return this week.
- Austin Ekeler’s price simply doesn’t reflect his current role. He lost goal line snaps to Sony Michel and third down snaps to Joshua Kelley in Week 2. Perhaps that had to do with the short week, but if the Chargers are committed to “keeping him fresh” this year and a huge battle with the Chiefs for divisional control when Ekeler is fully healthy doesn’t get him a bell cow role, we probably aren’t seeing it in this game either. I *may* have some interest in Ekeler on Fanduel and Yahoo, where touchdowns are at a premium and salary is looser.
- The Chargers defense is certainly viable, especially on Fanduel and Yahoo, in a matchup where they should have a lot of opportunities for sacks and turnovers.
- Christian Kirk is the clear alpha wide receiver in this offense and has a high likelihood of seeing double digit targets in this matchup and likely game environment. Kirk’s salary on all sites doesn’t reflect his role on his new team.
- I will expand on this theory in my Player Grid in the Scroll this week, but both Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne are low priced options at their respective positions who should have spiked volume this week. Both are usable options together or on their own.
By Dwprix >>
- 48.0 is the 5th highest total on the slate
- LAC is favored by 7, the biggest spread on the week
- These teams faced each other in 2020 when JAC only one win all season
- LAC won 39-29 (Minshew vs Herbert)
- Lawrence was protected well last week: 0 sacks allowed, just 2 QB hits
- He only had five incompletions & threw for 235 yds, 2 TDs
- Lawrence has broke 20+ DK pts just twice in 19 games
- He’s only thrown for 300+ twice in his career // one of these in his first game
- He only has one game with 3 pass TDs // his first game in the NFL
- Lawrence has 7 games with zero pass TDs
- LAC vs QBs: (Carr 16.8 DK pts) // (Mahomes 17.3 DK pts )
- Targets: (Kirk 12, 6) // (Marvin Jones 5, 6) // (Zay Jones 9,4)
- Kirk’s scored 4x DK salary in both games 4.5x // Wk1: 4.1x
- His price has went from $5.1k to $5.7k to $6.3k this week
- To score 3x salary: 18.9 // 4x: 25.2 // 5x: 31.5
- Marvin’s price went down price went down $300 on DK // Zay’s has went down $100 since Wk1
- LAC D kept all KC WRs under 10 DK pts last week
- They let Davante score 33.1 in Wk1
- Attempts: Robinson (23, 11) // Etienne (9, 4)
- Robinson had zero 20+ rush games last season but did have four as a rookie in 2020
- Targets: Robinson (2, 1) // Etienne (3, 4)
- RZ carries:RZ targets: Robinson (6:2) // Etienne (1:3)
- Robinson has 3 TDs // Etienne has yet to score
- Robinson rushed for 22:119:1 TD vs JAC in 2020
- LAC ranks 13th in rush dvoa
- They finished 30th last season
- Opponents have rushed the least against LAC (23.0 attempts/g) but are averaging 5.1/carry
- Engram was targeted 8 times last week (7:46)
- That was his highest target count in 11 games
- He has an 18% target share
- LAC allowed 10.1 DK pts to Kelce & 11.9 to Waller
- Herbert’s thrown 3 TDs in both games this season
- He’s 5th in pass yds (613) // LAC ranks 6th in pass attempts (41.0)
- Williams, Everett, & Ekeler saw 10 tgts last week
- JAC D ranked last in defensive pass dvoa in 2021, with 10 QBs scoring 2+ TDs
- They have 5 INTs through two weeks against Matt Ryan & Jared Goff
- JAC ranks 3rd in defensive pass dvoa
- Herbert, who’s dealing with a rib injury, now faces a D that got 5 sacks, 11 QB hits, & 18 pressures last week
- Williams without Allen: last week 8:113:1 TD-10 tgts // last season 6:61-6 tgts
- Palmer: last week 4:30-8 tgts // last season 6:61:1 TD-7 tgts
- Tgt share: (Williams 18%) // (Palmer 15%)
- Herbert targeted 11 WRs Wk1 & eight last week
- JAC allowed four TDs to WRs Wk1 but zero last week
- WK 1 allowed to WRs: (McClaurin 2:58:1 TD) // (Samuel 8:55:1 TD) // (Dotson 3:40:2 TDs)
- Ekeler rushed 14 times last week
- Kelly & Michel had 4 each
- Ekeler has a 44% carry share // 18% tgt share
- Ekeler had zero games last season with more than 17 rush attempts but still scored 12 rush TDs
- JAC D ranks 4th in yds/rush (3.4), 3rd in rush yds/g (69.5), 7th least rush attempts/g, and has yet to allow a rush TD
- Ekeler has zero rushing or receiving TDs so far
- His average of 14.8 Dk pts/g is 1.9x this week’s salary
- Everett has 14 tgts which is tied for 8th among TEs
- 18% tgt share
- Everett’s game log: (6:71-10 tgts) // (3:54-4 tgts)
- He’s 4th among TEs in DK pts/g: 13.8
- The three averaging more: Kelce, Andrews, Waller
- JAC allowed to TEs: (Cox 1:9) // (Thomas 3:45)